In the Library Ministry, as in every part of life, there are periods of "feast or famine" and of "discouragement or elation." Our best advice is to pray, wait, and listen for God's guidance!
Since February 1943, when the first books were recorded in the First Baptist Church Library of Corinth, Mississippi, we have determined to support the vision and mission of our church by providing media and services to meet the needs of the people of our church and community.
One of the most obvious ways of supporting this mission is to provide media in different formats for Bible study, for discipleship, for helping people to come to know Christ, and to provide leisure reading, listening and viewing materials. Readers of all ages can be sure that the materials they choose from the Church Library will represent Christian values.
Through the years, the library has continued to keep up with technology by updating audio and video materials and by embracing the use of library management software. A web-based catalog of our holdings is available for on-line searching through the church website at www.firstbaptistcorinth.org.
As a part of the continued effort for the library to be relevant in today's church life, we continue to expand our ministry by connecting with the other ministries of the church. We offer to promote or support events associated with each ministry and provide materials as needed. As an example, we process and circulate the multimedia kits used by various study groups. Leaders know that they can come to the library to find the material when it is time for preparation.
The "Kindergarten Reading Team" reads one morning a week to classes of the Kindergarten - Preschool program. We are occasionally rewarded by having a child come speak to us a year or two later and indicate that they remember we are the library readers! We hope to help these and other parents in our church family realize the value of spending time reading with their children as well as the value of selecting quality materials.
Less obvious methods of meeting needs are for the Library Team to laminate materials for VBS and Kindergarten teachers, or cut shapes with the die cut machine. Ideas for crafts which reinforce Bible stories are available to help leaders of various age groups and mission team leaders.
Hundreds of handmade bookmarks and book shapes on which John 3:16 is printed in various languages have been created for mission teams. Children, youth, and even adults add decorations to the bookmarks with stickers, stamps or their own imagination! Mission team members tell us that these simple messages are treasured by the people to whom they are given.
FBC, Corinth, recently had the privilege of hosting the 44th Annual Church Library Ministry training conference. This time for training is not only a time to get fresh ideas for ministry, meet authors, make new friends, and renew friendships, but also an opportunity for church librarians to engage in spiritual renewal with other leaders. We think this is valuable time spent together.
"Check Out" your Church Library this week!